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Speech by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at The Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (Shanghai) on Governance in an Era of Change (变革时代的治国理念), Sunday, 26 May 2019

中国浦东干部学院

常务副院长曹文泽先生

副院长郑金洲先生

女士们、先生们

大家好!

我很荣幸来到中国浦东干部学院。贵院是中国顶尖的干部学院之一。4年前,我到井冈山干部学院分享新加坡的经验。干部学院与新加坡有紧密的合作。新加坡的领导,包括建国总理李光耀先生、现任国务资政张志贤先生和尚达曼先生都曾经到浦东干部学院演讲。新加坡公共服务学院(Civil Service College) 与贵院也有不少往来。今年四月,张志贤先生也率团到延安干部学院交流

全球结构性的变化

2 现今世界正出现结构性的变化, 挑战日益复杂, 各国都受到影响。身为领导,我们该如何带领人民应对挑战,从中寻找新机遇,为民谋福。对此,我将分享我对三大全球结构性变化的看法,以及治国的核心理念和三大原则。

3 首先,让我谈谈三大全球结构性变化。

对全球化的支持减弱

4 第一是世界多个地区对全球化的支持减弱,和保护主义的抬头。

a. 这反映在许多方面,例如世贸多哈回合谈判的进展缓慢、中美之间的贸易摩擦以及英国脱欧事件等。

5 实际上,全球贸易和国际投资的开放, 让许多国家获益及蓬勃发展,这包括新加坡和中国。

a. 中国自改革开放以来,在短短四十年内成为世界第二大经济体,也让8亿中国人摆脱贫困[1]

6 不过,全球化带来的利益分布不均。

a. 拥有世界级竞争优势的企业通过全球化,扩大规模,从而获得丰厚的利润。

b. 这些企业不惜重金,高薪聘请人才。这也导致贫富悬殊加剧。

c. 一些群体因此认为,他们不但没有受惠,还被抛在后头。

7 因此,我们需要确保人民都能共享全球化带来的果实。

a. 否则,社会可能会分裂。

b. 这会让政府在改善人民生活、维持经济增长和推动工业转型等方面,面临更大的挑战。

科技的迅速发展

8 第二个结构性变化是科技的迅速发展。我们正处于第四次工业革命。新科技,如人工智能、区块链、和物联网科技,都可能彻底改变我们的生活。 

a. 我刚出席了浦江创新论坛。今年,新加坡很荣幸以主宾国身份参与。来自多个国家在论坛上互相交流,探讨如何加强合作。创新科技的巨大潜力,能够应对种种挑战。

b. 上个月,我到访了旧金山。我向那里的商界领袖和创新者了解科技如何培育新兴企业和打造新的社会模式。

9 不过,科技迅速发展,许多工作和技能可能被淘汰。这引起一些人的担忧。

a. 两个月前,我和新加坡南洋理工大学的学生交流。我问他们,最大的忧虑是什么?

b. 他们担心未来的工作就快被机器取代了。

c. 不过,这些学生们随后解释,他们是想要为将来做更好的准备,才会有这样的担忧。他们能有如此的远见,令我感到欣慰。

d. 其实,这种担忧并不少见。在座有许多高等学府的领导。中国每年新增大约一千五百万就业人口,每年大约有八百多万名大学毕业生[2],竞争非常激烈。

10 现今的许多工作在我们年轻时可说是闻所未闻。那我们应该如何帮助年轻一代做好准备,应付未来可能出现的新职业?我认为关键在于终身学习。

a. 新加坡通过“技能创前程”(SkillsFuture)计划鼓励人民终身学习。我们必须不断重新接受培训、提升技能,做到活学活用,学以致用;终身学习,终身受用;精益求精,敬业乐业。 

i. 这需要“劳资政” 三方,以及学府的合作,更需要人民对终身学习抱有积极的态度。

b. 中国在这方面也采取了措施。除了雇主所提供的职业培训外,李克强总理也在今年宣布,拨款1千亿人民币实施“职工技能提升和转岗转业培训[3]”。

人口变化

11 第三个结构性变化是人口变化。许多国家,包括新中两国在内,都面临人口老化的挑战。

a. 联合国估计[4],新加坡60岁及以上的老年人口比例,将从2017年的百分之20上升到2050年的百分之40。而在中国,这个比例会从百分之16增加到百分之35。 

b. 人民寿命延长,是一件好事。但人口老化将导致劳动人口下降。这将提高医疗开支,影响国家的财政和经济活力。

12 这三个结构性变化将会对世界带来深远的影响。

13 其中一个现象是,国与国之间的不平等虽然减少了。但是,各个国家内,人与人之间的不平等却加剧了[5]。所以,各国都需要重视这个问题,避免社会分化,以打造温馨包容的社会。就如习近平主席所说的“全面建成小康社会,一个也不能少;共同富裕路上,一个也不能掉队”[6]

a. 社会不平等的现象不单只体现在贫富差距,也体现在知识和技能差距上。让我举个例子。教育系统虽然持续进步,但是年长员工可能因为较早离开教育系统,未能从中受益。这导致他们无法胜任某些工作,收入和储蓄因此比年轻员工来得少。同时,他们不一定能跟上科技发展的步伐 。

b. 所幸我们保留了传统家庭价值观。这意味着孩子们还会分担照顾父母的责任。但这也增加了他们的压力。 

14 这些挑战,对于人民的福祉有深远的影响。身为领导人,我们需要深思如何应对这些挑战。接下来,让我继续谈谈治国的核心理念与三大原则。 

变革中的治国原则

核心:治国的核心应以人为本

15 治国的核心理念就是每位领导应该以人为本。 

16 要做到这点,领导人需要重视社会的共同价值观。

a. 每个社会都有自己的价值观。这有助于提高社会互信和凝聚力。

i. 新加坡人共同的价值观包括:(i)保持社会的开放性,(ii) 互相包容,维持多元种族、多元宗教、多元文化的和谐,(iii)自立自强、坚韧不拔,(iv) 诚实正直,以及(v) 互相关怀。

b. 领导人必须以身作则,发扬共同价值观。

i. 这也是每一代的新加坡领导人,对人民的承诺。

17 在以人为本的基础上,政府可以通过三大原则来治理国家:

a. 首先,敢于创新求变 。

b. 第二,勇于长期规划 。

c. 第三,善于国际合作 。 

敢于创新求变

18 让我先谈谈敢于创新求变的原则。现今世界瞬息万变 ,人民对生活的期望也有所提升。

a. 社会发展初期,人民比较在乎如何满足衣食住行等基本需求。

b. 但随着社会的发展,人民开始关注不同的社会议题, 对这些议题也持有自己的想法和意见。

c. 随着时间的过去,之前制定的政策,也会过时。

19 政府需要顺应时代的发展,配合人民当下的需求,积极创新求变。

a. 尽管如此,我们也不能一味地为了寻求改变而改变。

b. 我们必须衡量风险,深思熟虑后再勇于改变。

20 为此,政府需要以人为本,与人民保持密切的关系。

a. 政府需要聆听人民的心声,了解他们的需要和期望。

i. 刚才,我提到了我曾到访井冈山干部学院。当时,我和与会者分享了我们在全国展开 “我们的新加坡对话会” 的经验。这是新加坡全国性的对话会,让政府领导人更深入了解人民对未来的期望。

b. 然而,单靠公众咨询和收集民意是不够的。我们必须与社会上不同领域的领袖合作,集思广益,寻求解决方案,一同面对挑战。

c. 不仅如此,我们也必须动员各个群体,充分发挥人民的力量。

i. 例如,我们设立了乐龄支援网络计划。支援网络除了有社区领袖,也有志愿者,其中还包括不少年长志愿者。他们鼓励社区的乐龄人士保持活跃,并关怀有需要的同胞。

ii. 新加坡有一个名为“人民协会”的政府机构。它在加强政府与人民的联系,以及建立强大的社群组织方面,扮演着重要的角色。基层志愿者不辞劳苦地主办活动,走访社区,深入了解居民的需求。

iii. 我们就是通过这样的方式,在社会的每一个领域和阶层,加强彼此间的合作关系,团结社会。

勇于长期规划

21 第二,我们需要勇于长期规划。 

a. 在一个充满变数的全球环境里,政府需要随机应变,也需要专注于长期规划。

b. 最近,英国的威尔士委任了一位“未来世代部长”,确保政府做出的决策考虑到还没有出生人民未来的利益, 子子孙孙的利益。

i. 这是个很有趣的做法。其实,每一位领导人都应该慎重考虑今天的决策如何改善还未出世的后代的未来。

22 长期规划能让我们为未来做好准备。

a. 城市规划就是个好例子。

b. 李克强总理在2019年政府工作报告中就提出了“促进区域协调发展,提高新型城镇化质量”的重要性[7]

c. 在只有700多平方公里的新加坡,我们更要善用土地资源。

i. 我们的长期规划分两个阶段进行。 新加坡市区重建局的《概念图》为新加坡未来40到50年的发展提供指引。《总体规划图》则把长期宏观策略转换为10到15年内可实行的发展计划。这样一来,我们就能够持续更新基础设施,确保新加坡是一个宜居的家园。

ii. 此外,新加坡的地契基本上不超过99年。要延长地契需要政府批准。这样,我们确保能够回收有限的土地,并用于国家未来的发展。

23 世界上任何一座城市都需要进行市区更新,新加坡也不例外。在长期规划下,定期的市区更新也非常重要。

a. 在进行市区更新时,政府会鼓励人民提出意见。

i. 例如,市镇理事会实行邻区更新计划 (Neighbourhood Renewal Programme) 时,会先征求居民的反馈,再让居民投票。唯有得到至少百分之75居民同意时,才能进行翻新。

b. 创新求变的做法也可以让我们善用土地。

i. 例如,我们建造了“淡滨尼天地”。它是新加坡最大型的社区及休闲综合设施大楼。 它集合了图书馆、体育场、游泳池、剧院、餐厅、小贩中心、商店以及公共服务中心等设施。这样一来,我们不但能善加利用有限的土地,也能为各年龄层以及有各别需要的居民提供更大的便利。我很高兴看到很多三代同堂到“淡滨尼天地”,参与不同的活动。

ii. 我们也积极推动跨代互动。我们有一个名为“海军部村庄”的项目,其中设有托儿中心和乐龄活动中心。他们经常主办活动来促进孩童和乐龄人士之间的互动。

24 除了满足这一代人民的需要,我们也必须确保环境的可持续性,让下一代也能享有宜居的生活环境。

a. 习近平主席曾经提出要“加快中国生态文明体制改革,建设美丽中国”[8]。为了实现这个愿景,中国将 “加强污染防治和生态建设,大力推动绿色发展”[9]

b. 新加坡是一个高密度的城市。空气质量和绿色空间对新加坡至关重要。李光耀先生曾说过“钢筋水泥的丛林将摧毁人们的心灵” 。所以,新加坡在独立初期就致力打造一座花园城市。

i. 今天,我们的绿色面积已高达百分之40。

ii. 我们希望进一步把新加坡进阶为“花园中的城市”,通过创新的概念,让我们更接近大自然。 例如,登加新镇,将是新加坡第一个具有森林风采的新镇。

iii. 近年来,我们也不断提高建筑的绿化程度和可持续性。

iv. 除了建筑,我们也积极保留文化遗产。新加坡植物园被列入联合国教科文组织世界遗产名录。它是休闲的好去处,也是环境保护和科研的重要基地。

c. 在提高城市宜居方面,两国有不少互学互鉴的地方:

i. 经过十年的努力,中新天津生态城从盐碱荒滩发展成一座已有10万居民和超过7千家注册企业[10] 的低碳、宜居城市。

d. 这些努力会让我们的国家发展更具持续性。

善于国际合作

25 第三,我们必须善于加强国际合作,促进全球和平与繁荣。

a. 没有一个国家拥有一切所需的资源和技能。

b. 通过开放的国际合作,我们能够互利共赢。

26 作为世界两大强国,中国和美国都扮演着举足轻重的角色。无论是在维持全球和平与稳定,或是应对全球问题,两国的参与不可或缺。

a. 最近中美贸易摩擦升温,令人担忧。中美关系是全世界最重要的双边关系。

b. 在一定程度上,国际竞争无法避免。这是因为各国都努力保障自身利益,设法让自己的人民过上更好的生活。

i. 良性的竞争可以激发创新,促使我们共同进步 。

ii. 但是,恶性竞争可能会演变成冲突、甚至产生敌对心态。 

27 我们希望中美两国能打造可被形容为“合竞”或 “coopetition” 的关系。这就是“合作”(cooperation) 与“竞争” (competition) 的共存。两国竞争的同时,也能够携手展开互惠互利的合作。

28 各国也应该继续在共同关心的领域里加强合作。

a. 比如,他们可以加强交通、经济,以及人与人之间的联通性。中国提出的“一带一路”倡议可以更好地满足区域基础建设的庞大需求,实现互利共赢和共同发展。新加坡是最早支持“一带一路”倡议的国家之一。中国有很多投资通过新加坡流入“一带一路”沿线国家。新加坡是中国在“一带一路”沿线国家中最大的对外投资目的地。中新互联互通南向通道去年升级为国际陆海贸易新通道,链接“一带一路”,进一步加强区域联通性。

b. 此外,面对全球化支持的减弱,我们也应该共同维持开放、基于规则的多边贸易体系。

i. 新中两国签署了《自由贸易协定升级议定书》 (China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA)),深化两国之间的贸易和投资。

ii. 亚细安,也称东盟,和包括中国在内的主要贸易伙伴也致力于推动区域全面经济伙伴关系协定 (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)) 的早日达成。

iii. 跨太平洋伙伴全面进展协定 (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)) 也在去年生效。这是一个高水平、高度自由化的自由贸易协定,也为许多新兴领域提供了贸易规则指导。我们欢迎拥有相同理念及有意愿达到协定标杆的伙伴参与。

c. 此外,我们也可以加强民间交流。

i. 新加坡、中国和东南亚国家都具有自己独特的文化、艺术、美食和人文古迹。

ii. 我们的风土民情,能为海外朋友带来不同的文化体验。

iii. 这将有助于加强各国人民之间的交往和友谊。

29 新中两国的长期友好关系是建立在高度互信的基础上。两国也建立了“与时俱进的全方位合作伙伴关系”。

a. 我刚在北京与中国国务院总理李克强和副总理韩正等中央领导人会晤。

b. 前天,我也和上海市长应勇共同主持了新成立的新加坡-上海全面合作理事会。 

i. 这是新加坡与中国的第八个经济贸易理事会,更是上海第一个与其他国家打造的全面合作平台。

c. 明年是新中正式建交30周年,我们将继续探讨如何通过各种方式,加强双边关系与合作。

总结

30 最后,让我做个总结。全球面临三大结构性变化:一, 对全球化的支持减弱、 二,科技的迅速发展和三,人口变化。 

31 身为领导人,我们必须以人为本。在这个基础之上,我们应该敢于创新求变、勇于长期规划并善于国际合作。

32 回顾过去,展望未来,新中两国是老朋友,更是好朋友。我期待两国展开更多双赢的合作项目,让我们的友好关系百尺竿头、更进一步,为两国人民的福祉作出更大的贡献。

33 谢谢大家! 

 


English Translation

 

Executive Vice President, China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong, Mr Cao Wenze

Vice President, China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong, Mr Zheng Jinzhou

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Good morning

           I am honoured to be here at the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), one of China’s top leadership academies. Four years ago, I spoke at the Jinggangshan Academy (CELAJ), on Singapore’s experiences. Singapore has a close working relationship with CELAP. Our leaders, including founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Ministers Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, have conducted dialogues at CELAP. The Singapore Civil Service College has exchanges with CELAP as well. Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean has also just led a delegation to the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy in Yan’an in April.

Global Structural Shifts 

2 The world is facing structural shifts and increasingly complex challenges, which affect every country. As leaders, how do we better prepare our people to meet these challenges, seize the opportunities that come along, and improve the lives of our people? Please allow me to share my views on three key global structural shifts, and the one core vision exemplified by the three key principles of governance. 

3 Let me first share my thoughts about these three key global structural shifts. 

Decline in Support for Globalisation
 
4 The first is the decline in support for globalisation and a resurgence in protectionist sentiments around the world. 

a. This has manifested in many ways, such as the lack of progress in the Doha Rounds of trade talks, China-US trade friction, and Brexit. 

5 In reality, openness to global trade and investments has enabled many countries, including Singapore and China, to develop and prosper. 

a. Since ‘reform and opening up’ (改革开放) started in China 40 years ago, China has risen to become the world's second largest economy, and lifted some 800 million from poverty . 

6 However, the fruits of globalisation have not been shared equally across the board. 

a. Globalisation has enabled companies that have world-class competitive strengths to scale across many markets, and make significant profits. 

b. It has also allowed greater competition for skilled talents among these companies, leading to greater wealth accumulation at the upper end. 

c. Hence, some groups felt that globalisation has not worked for them, and they have been left behind. 

7 We must therefore make sure that the fruits of growth are shared by all. 

a. Otherwise, societies can fracture. 

b. This will make it more challenging for us to transform our industries, sustain our economic growth and improve the lives of our citizens. 

Rapid Technological Advancements 

8 The second structural shift is the rapid pace of technological advancements. We are in the midst of Industry 4.0, where new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet-of-Things have the potential to transform our lives. 

a. I have just attended this year’s Pujiang Innovation Forum, which Singapore participated as the Country of Honour. At the forum, countries exchanged ideas and explored opportunities for strengthening collaboration in various fields. Technology has the potential to solve some of the most pressing problems we face today. 

b. I was also in San Francisco last month where various business leaders and innovators shared how cutting-edge digital technologies are enabling new business and social models. 

9 However, technological advancements may also make many jobs and skills redundant. This can lead to anxieties. 

a. At a dialogue session two months ago with students from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, I asked the undergraduates what their biggest concerns were. 

b. They were concerned that machines will take over their jobs. 

c. But I was glad that they subsequently clarified that they are thinking hard about the future, so that they can be better prepared. 

d. This anxiety is not uncommon in the world. In the audience today are many University and Higher Education leaders. I understand that in China, each year, there are more than 8 million graduating university students, and more than 15 million people entering the highly competitive job market . 

10 Many jobs in the market today did not exist when we were growing up. How do we prepare our young for jobs that do not currently exist? The key is lifelong learning. 

a. In Singapore, we encourage lifelong learning through our SkillsFuture Movement. It is important to reskill, upskill and stay relevant. As we say in Chinese, “活学活用,学以致用;终身学习,终身受用;精益求精,敬业乐业”. 

i. In order to succeed, this movement requires the support of tripartite partners and education institutions, and for Singaporeans to have an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. 

b. Likewise, in China, on top of relying on employer-sponsored training, Premier Li Keqiang announced the launch of a 100 billion yuan vocational skills training initiative this year . The initiative will provide training to help people upgrade their skills or switch industries. 

Demographic Change 

11 The third structural shift is demographic change. Many countries, including Singapore and China, are faced with an ageing population. 

a. The UN  estimated that the percentage of Singapore’s population aged 60 years or over will increase from 20 percent in 2017 to 40 percent in 2050. For China, UN estimates the increase to be from 16 percent to 35 percent respectively. 

b. The fact that people are living longer is a good thing. However, an ageing population results in a declining workforce. This will have a profound impact on healthcare expenditures, government finances and economic vibrancy. 

12 These three structural shifts have profound implications for the world. 

13 One complex outcome is the reduction of inequalities across countries, but an increase in inequalities within countries . Income inequality can fragment a society. Instead, we must build a cohesive and inclusive society. How to achieve this is something all leaders need to be concerned about. For example, President Xi Jinping outlined the vision of leaving no one behind as society prospers (“全面建成小康社会,一个也不能少;共同富裕路上,一个也不能掉队” ). 

a. Inequality now manifests not just between the haves and the have-nots, but also between the know, and the “know-nots”. For example, many older workers benefited less from the advances in education system over the years, as they have left the system earlier on. They may thus find it challenging to take on certain jobs, and therefore earn less and have less savings compared to younger workers. They may also find it harder to keep up with the rapid technological advancements. 

b. Fortunately, our traditional family values mean that children will help to look after their parents. But this also adds to the pressures which they face.

14 These challenges have profound implications on the well-being of our people. The question for leaders is, how are we going to respond to them? Let me now elaborate on the principles of leadership and governance that can assist us to navigate this era of change. 

Principles of Governance in this Era of Change 

Core: Putting People at the Heart of What We Do 

15 At the core, leaders must put our people at the heart of everything we do. 

16 To do this, shared values matter. 

a. Every society has its own set of values. These common values can strengthen trust and cohesion in a society. 

i. In Singapore, some of our shared values are (i) our commitment to openness, (ii) our embrace of multiculturalism, multi-racialism, multi-religious society and harmony, (iii) our spirit of self-determination and resilience, (iv) integrity, as well as (v) care for one another and responsibility. 

b. Leaders of a country need to live by their shared values, and to promote them throughout the society. 

i. This is also an unwavering commitment that each generation of Singaporean leaders make to our people. 

17 Having identified what is core, Governments can then: 

a. Take an adaptive approach to change; 

b. Be bold in planning long-term; and 

c. Be apt at strengthening international cooperation. 

Take an Adaptive Approach to Change 

18 Let me first share about taking an adaptive approach to change. The world is changing rapidly, and so are our people’s aspirations. 

a. In early stages of development, people are more focused on satisfying basic needs. 

b. As society progresses, many more citizens develop an interest in and express their views about a variety of issues. 

c. No policy is applicable to all contexts and at all times. 

19 Governments must be prepared to make necessary changes to adapt with the times as our citizens’ interests evolve. 

a. However, we must not change for change’s sake. 

b. We should take calculated risks, and dare to change when circumstances require. 

20 This can only be done well if the Government put its people at the heart of its policies. To do this, leaders must engage their people actively. 

a. Government must consult citizens to understand their needs and aspirations. 

i. During my visit to CELAJ, I shared about “Our Singapore Conversation”. Our Singapore Conversation was a national consultation exercise that reached out to Singaporeans on their aspirations for Singapore’s future. 

b. However, it is not sufficient to just consult and gather feedback. We also have to engage leaders of different segments of society to co-develop ideas and solutions to issues, and overcome challenges together. 

c. Going further, we must also mobilise different groups and harness the energies of our people. 

i. For example, we set up the Community Network for Seniors. This network not only involves our community leaders, but also taps on volunteers, many of whom also belong to the silver generation, to engage other seniors to age actively, and to care for the more vulnerable ones. 

ii. Our People’s Association plays an integral part in strengthening the links between the Government and the people, and building strong communities. The volunteers tirelessly organise activities to reach out to different segments of the community, and walk the ground to better understand the needs of the residents. 

iii. By making every effort to form deeper relationships and partnerships at every sector and level, we build a stronger society. 

Bold to Plan Long Term 

21 The second principle is to be bold to plan long-term. 

a. While it is important for governments to adapt to short-term circumstances in an increasingly volatile world, we must continue to keep our eyes focused on the long-term horizon in our planning. 

b. Take for example Wales, a country in the United Kingdom, has appointed a new Minister, known as the ‘Minister for Future Generations’ . The Minister will ensure that decisions taken by the Welsh government today consider the interests of future citizens.

i. This is an interesting idea. Every leader needs to consider how our decisions made today can improve the future of our people. 

22 Planning long-term also allows us more runway to prepare for future challenges. 

a. Urban planning is a good example of how countries can plan long-term. 

b. In his Government Work Report 2019, Premier Li Keqiang talked about the importance of a coordinated cluster development approach to drive urbanisation of a higher quality (“促进区域协调发展,提高新型城镇化质量”) . 

c. For Singapore, we have limited land, only about 700 square kilometres, and hence we must make the best use of this limited resource. 

i. We have a concept plan to guide developments over the next 40-50 years, while the more detailed Masterplan translates these strategies into more concrete plans for the next 10-15 years. These plans allow us to continually rejuvenate our infrastructure so that Singapore remains a liveable home for all. 

ii. Singapore’s leases generally do not exceed 99 years. Extensions are subject to government approval. This also allows the government to rejuvenate land for national development.

23 Urban rejuvenation is something that all cities in the world must undertake, including Singapore. 

a. As Singapore embarked on our urban rejuvenation projects, we engaged our citizens to understand their views. 

i. For example, our Town Councils implementing the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme actively engages residents. Residents are consulted and required to vote. The programme will only proceed if at least 75% of the eligible residents indicate their support. 

b. In taking an adaptive approach has also helped us to intensify the use of land. 

i. Our Tampines Hub (OTH) is Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle hub. We co-located various community facilities, such as a regional library, sports facilities, swimming pools, performance theatre, restaurants, hawker centre, retail outlets and a public service centre. This way, not only do we intensify the use of the land, we now also offer greater convenience and a wider range of services for residents of different ages. 

ii. Co-locating facilities also allows us to promote inter-generational mixing. In Kampung Admiralty, we have a childcare centre and Active Aging Hub co-located. They work together to run inter-generational programmes for children and seniors to interact with each other. 

24 Beyond ensuring that the current generation have their needs taken care of, we must also ensure the sustainability of our environment for our future generation. 

a. In China, President Xi talked about developing an ecological civilization, and building a beautiful China (加快生态文明体制改革,建设美丽中国 ). To realise this vision, China has made strengthening pollution prevention and control, enhancing ecological improvement and making big advances in green development as one of its priorities . 

b. Given Singapore’s dense urban environment, air quality and greenery are especially important. Mr Lee Kuan Yew once said “a blighted urban jungle of concrete destroys the human spirit.” With the foresight of our pioneer leaders, Singapore has set out to become a Garden City since the early days of our independence. 

i. Today, we have more than 40% green cover. 

ii. We aspire to further turn Singapore from being a “Garden City” into a “City in a Garden”, through innovative concepts, such as the Tengah District, Singapore’s first “Forest Town” that brings us close to nature. 

iii. Over the years, we have also been promoting green buildings and sustainability in the built environment. 

iv. We have also continued our efforts in preserving our heritage. Our Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only is it a recreational space, it is also an important institution for horticultural research, education and conservation. 

c. On improving urban liveability, both our countries have much to exchange ideas on. 

i. For example, through efforts such as the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city project, we have turned a barren, saline land into a low-carbon and liveable city for 100,000 residents and more than 7,000 registered companies after ten years of hard work. 

d. These efforts have helped to increase the sustainability of our development. 

Apt at Strengthening International Collaboration 

25 The third principle is to strengthen greater international collaboration and promote global peace and prosperity. 

a. No country has all the resources and expertise it needs. 

b. Openness and international collaborations can achieve win-win outcomes. 

26 China and the US, as two major powers, play an indispensable role in ensuring peace and stability, and to address global challenges. 

a. Recent escalation of trade tensions between the two are worrying. The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. 

b. Competition is inevitable, as each nation strives to safeguard her interests and create a better life for her people. 

i. Competition can be constructive if managed well as it can spur innovation and drive progress. 

ii. On the other hand, competition can be disruptive if it degenerates into conflict and rivalry. 

27 We hope that China and US can develop a relationship based on “coopetition”, i.e. able to cooperate in mutually beneficial areas while competing.   

28 Countries should also continue to press ahead with cooperation in areas of common concern. 

a. For example, countries can cooperate to improve transport, economic, and people-to-people connectivity. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to improve connectivity is one example of bringing together international partners to solve the common challenge of meeting demand in infrastructure investments in the region. It will deliver win-win outcomes and common development for its participants. Singapore was an early and strong supporter of the BRI. Singapore is also the largest destination for Chinese investments out of China, into the Belt and Road countries. Last year, we upgraded the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative’s Southern Transport Corridor to the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, linking the Silk Road Economic Belt to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, thereby strengthening regional connectivity.

b. Another area is that of maintaining an open, rules-based multilateral trading system, in face of the declining support for globalisation. 

i. We upgraded the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) to deepen trade and investments between China and Singapore. 

ii. ASEAN and our major partners, including China, have continued to press on for the early completion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). 

iii. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) also came into force last year. This is a high standard FTA with a high degree of liberalisation and a pathfinder on rules in many emerging sectors. We welcome countries who share the same vision and ambition to join when they are ready. 

c. Next, we can also strengthen people- to-people ties. 

i. For example, Singapore, China and Southeast Asian countries offer a variety of culture, art, cuisine, and places of interest. 

ii. These can provide different cultural and tourism experiences for our overseas friends. 

iii. This will foster mutual understanding and strengthen ties across our peoples. 

29 China and Singapore share a longstanding and close friendship built on mutual trust. Our leaders have also established an “all-round cooperative partnership, progressing with the times” (与时俱进的全方位合作伙伴关系). 

a. I just met Premier Li Keqiang, Vice-Premier Han Zheng and other Chinese leaders in Beijing. 

b. I also just chaired the newly established Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council (SSCCC) with Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong. 

i. This is the eighth business council Singapore has with China. Notably, it is Shanghai’s first comprehensive institutionalised platform with a foreign country. 

c. As we look forward to the 30th year of formal diplomatic relations next year, we will continue to explore more ways strengthen our cooperation and bilateral ties. 

Conclusion

30 Let me conclude. The world is facing three structural shifts – (i) decline in support for globalisation, (ii) rapid technological advancements, and (iii) demographic change. 

31 As leaders, we must always remember to put our people at the heart of everything we do. With this, we can then (i) take an adaptive approach to change, (ii) be bold in planning for the long-term, as well as (iii) be apt at strengthening international collaboration. 

32 Singapore and China are old friends (旧朋友 ), and also good friends (好朋友). We look forward to more win-win collaborations to deepen and strengthen our ties, so as to bring greater benefits to our peoples. 

33 Thank you very much! 


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[1]《驻东盟大使黄溪连在实现可持续发展本地化和减贫目标研讨会开幕式上的讲话》, 22 August 2018.

[2] Source:《2018年我国城镇新增就业逾1500万, 高校毕业生超五成》,中国网,26 February 2018.

[3] Source: Government Work Report 2019 (2019 年政府工作报告) by Premier Li Keqiang at the National People’s Congress in March 2019.

[4] Source: UN Report on World Population Ageing 2017. 

[5] Source: The World Inequality Report 2018

[6] Source: 《习近平总书记在十九届中共中央政治局常委同中外记者见面时的讲话》,新华网,25 October 2017.

[7] Source: Government Work Report 2019 (2019 年政府工作报告), presented by Premier Li Keqiang at the National People’s Congress in March 2019.

[8] Source:19th National Party Congress Report (决胜全面建成小康社会,夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利 – 在中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会上的报告), delivered by President Xi Jinping in Oct 2017

[9] Source: Government Work Report 2019 (2019 年政府工作报告), presented by Premier Li Keqiang at the National People’s Congress in March 2019

[10] Source: 《中新天津生态城10周年,昔日盐碱荒滩,今日绿色新城》, Lianhe Zaobao, 15 Sep 2018.

Published on : 26 May 2019
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Last Updated on December 04, 2017
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